Phila. man sues city, police detective and D.A. over false arrest claims

By Jon Campisi | Dec 19, 2012

A Philadelphia man is suing a city police detective and the local district attorney over claims that he was falsely arrested after the plaintiff’s mother provided a false statement to police with regard to her son allegedly being involved in a theft.

Anthony Giordano claims in his federal civil rights action, which was filed Dec. 17 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, that Detective Margaret Murano-Nix, of the Philadelphia Police Department, arrested him at his home on Dec. 16, 2010, at about 6:15 in the morning.

Giordano was charged with theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, forgery, fraudulent destruction of recordable instruments, tampering with records, securing the execution of documents by deception, identity theft, and dealing with unlawful activities, the lawsuit states.

The charges were based upon the filing of a “baseless and fraudulent” police report by defendant Murano-Nix, the complaint alleges, and the report, in turn, was based on a statement that Norma Giordano, the plaintiff’s mother, gave to police.

“The information that Norma Giordano purportedly conveyed to defendant, detective Margaret Murano-Nix was patently false, inconsistent and was obviously unbelievable,” the lawsuit states. “In fact, if defendant, Detective Margaret Murano-Nix had conducted even the slightest investigation she would have discovered that there was no basis to arrest and charge plaintiff, Anthony Giordano.”

Following his arrest, Giordano’s attorney provided District Attorney R. Seth Williams with information to prove that he was innocent of the charges that had been lodged against him, the suit states.

On Dec. 8, 2011, about a year after Giordano’s arrest, the criminal charges against him were withdrawn after a total of seven preliminary hearing listings, all of which had been continued at the request of the defendants, according to the complaint.

The suit says that the actions of the defendants were committed “deliberately, intentionally, maliciously, outrageously, willfully, wantonly, and constitute conduct so egregious as to shock the conscience.”

Giordano suffered as a result of the defendants’ “unwarranted, illegal and unconstitutional actions,” the suit claims, and the plaintiff sustained property damage at his home as a result of the arrest and seizure actions.

Giordano was also forced to pay out $1,000 in bail money to secure his release while he awaited the outcome of the criminal situation against him.

The plaintiff claims he also incurred legal costs throughout the entire ordeal.

Giordano says he also suffered great mental anguish, physical pain, depression, nervousness, humiliation, personality change and a loss of life’s enjoyment as a result of the ordeal.

The lawsuit doesn’t spell out exactly what it was Giordano was accused of doing that led up to his initial arrest.

The suit accuses the defendants of violating Giordano’s Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

The complaint also contains state law claims of assault and battery, negligence and gross negligence, false arrest and false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and malicious abuse of process of law, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The plaintiff seeks more than $250,000 in damages, plus interest, costs, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

Giordano is being represented by lawyer Holly C. Dobrosky of the Law Offices of Guy R. Sciolla.


The federal case number is 2:12-cv-07034-MAM.

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